Tuesday, April 17, 2007

No reservations

Oh, Anthony Bourdain, you angel, you. Your comments about the first "Food Network Awards" show last night startled and amused me. I admit, I did watch the show and humbly enjoyed it. As a foodie, how could a young cook (read: chef wannabe) not be taken in by the seeming rapture and allure of the food celebs, the hype, the awards? Of course, a seasoned (no pun intended) chef like you should know better. Perhaps, in time, I'll learn for myself. Until then, I'll go on as an avid viewer of "Emeril Live" and "Molto Mario." At least Mario had the strength of character not to appear at the awards. Maybe he was too busy in the city monitoring his hundred or so restaurants.

So on a totally other note ... I seem to have engendered myself to the law school kids. They seem so much more my type than undergrads, who seem somewhat less than mature for my taste. Don't get me wrong; I know plenty of undergrads (most of them seniors who are leaving this year anyway ...) who challenge me intellectually. Still, these guys have it going on. They introduced me to the downtown lounge bars, like Al's. Nothing better than that place, let me tell you. They even serve bruchette after 11 p.m. Everyone's totally friendly there, and there's never any cover. The drinks are pretty sweet, too.

We're housing some accepted students until tomorrow morning. They came on Sunday and have been gorging themselves on campus life ever since, with their schedules full of activities geared toward acclimating them (in a sense) to life here at SU. The snow storm last night and during the day today probably gave them a very adequate foretaste of what things are really like here. Why, just this morning the bus I took to campus for my 9:30 a.m. class got stuck in the snow about five times before actually deciding not to attempt to go up the Slocum Heights hill any further and just get us to campus. By the afternoon, things were starting to melt, but I anticipate tomorrow will still be snowy, cold and dismal as ever before. Can't we be done with winter by now? Someone upstairs must hate me ... everyone knows how depressed winter makes me.

Well, time for some beauty rest. Tony -- if you're reading this -- we should go out sometime. We have a lot to talk about. I know this nice little place in Syracuse called Alto Cinco ... and you don't even need reservations.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

And as I fall apart, I learn to fly

Because the weather was so beautiful yesterday, we of 311 Chinook Dr. apartments 1 and 2 decided to have an impromptu grill party. We bought probably about 3 or 4 pounds of meat at P&C, along with huge cartons of macaroni and potato salad and 6-packs of good beer (Wachusetts Blueberry and Sam Adams). With Tostitos, salsa and queso, our party was complete. We had some friends over and fired up the grill, sitting outside on fold-out chairs with tons of food piled on our two tables, which we'd grabbed from our two apartments. It was an amazing day on our little "quad," with others around us having their own revelries. At one point, we even witnessed a streaker, clearly the object of a shutout in beer pong. We spent the day savoring the beautiful sun and mild temperatures, gathering around the grill for warmth and just enjoying each other's company. For me, this is the epitome of life, especially life in college: gathering with good friends and sharing a few drinks, with plenty of food and good times to go around. I, of course, grilled a tofu dog instead of regular hot dogs.

Later, Heather, Rob, Tom, Kristin and I took the Warehouse bus downtown to the bars. We hit up Kitty Hoynes, an Irish pub that especially excited Tom and Rob, and then we went to my pick, Al's Whisky and Wine Lounge. I had gone there the night before and had just fallen in love with it. It's a chill, hip place with a library of rare liquors and wines (the bottles line an entire wall behind the bar, and there's even a ladder for the bartenders to reach the higher-up ones). The crowd is naturally a little older than at the Marshall Street bars, but they seem more bohemian -- more my type. Actually, it's more like a mix of hipsters and trendy businesspeople. I like it. It's a place I feel like I could keep coming back to each weekend, even if I drive there and just have a few drinks. It isn't necessarily a place I'd want to get wasted at. Apparently it opened just last year, so it's really new, but you wouldn't realize it, because it's so packed and seems like a popular hangout already. There's always so much going on there, and everyone seems really friendly and outgoing. Just my scene.

The weeks are going by so quickly, it's hard to believe it'll be the end of the school year soon. I'm almost a senior. Geez. Before I know it I'll be scrambling to find a job. But first, Dow Jones. Not to mention the fact that next weekend I'll be driving home to spend Easter weekend with my family. I'm looking forward to that. It's always nice coming home, and now that I have a car, I can drive myself and not have to wait for my parents to come pick me up.

Now that all my work is done in preparation for tomorrow's classes, I think I'll spend the rest of the day recovering from the weekend. It's definitely one of those days where you don't change out of your pajamas and curl up by yourself on the couch with a mug of hot chocolate and a good
movie or novel. Like good nights out at chill places with chill friends, these days are also to be prized.